3rd Nov 2017
Plot hole: At the end, Kryten, Rimmer and Lister are in a lift facing off six gelf shapeshifters, two mimicking Lister, two mimicking Rimmer and two mimicking Krtyen, in a Mexican standoff. Nobody knows who to shoot, as they might shoot the real person instead of the shapeshifter. The problem is that Lister, Rimmer and Kryten are all self aware - they both know they are not shapeshifters. All Lister has to do is shoot the two fake Listers, Rimmer shots the fake Rimmers and Kryten shoots the two fake Krytens, problem solved.
11th Oct 2017
11th Oct 2017
Plot hole: An important plot point (in the book and the film) is that Charles Calthrop - thought to be the Jackal, at that stage - played some mysterious part in the 1961 assassination of Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of The Dominican Republic, and rumours of his involvement came to the attention of MI6 and Special Branch, leading to the accidental exposure of the Jackal's false passport. In fact there is no mystery at all about the assassination of Trujillo and there were no shadowy foreigners involved. It was organised by Trujillo's own senior aides, amongst them General Juan Tomás Díaz, Antonio de la Maza, Amado Garcia Guerroro and General Antonio Imbert Barrera. The gunmen was later identified as Luis Aniama Tio. All the conspirators except Tio were arrested, tortured and shot. There was no panicked evacuation of foreigners who were involved with Trujillo's regime and no reason for them to be concerned - the government did not fall and Trujillo's brother Hector took over as President, ruling in a brutal and totalitarian manner for a further eight years. Any rumours of a mysterious Englishman would have been dismissed out of hand and would not have made it onto even the lowest level filing system anywhere in Whitehall.
7th Sep 2017
Plot hole: The arms dealer tells Special Branch detectives that Charles Calthrop - wrongly suspected to be The Jackal - barely escaped with his life when Rafael Trujillo, the dictator of the Dominican Republic, was assassinated in 1961. "The whole regime collapsed within hours." He tells them, relating how Calthrop was with the Police Minister at the time and had to flee, bribing a fisherman to take him off the island in order to escape the angry mobs of partisans who were rioting in the streets, indiscriminately killing anyone they thought had collaborated with Trujillo's regime. What cobblers. There were no partisans and no riots. Trujillo's regime continued uninterrupted. His brother Hector immediately took power and ruled absolutely and ruthlessly for another eight years. Calthrop would have nothing to worry about unless Trujillo himself had signed his pay cheque. Calthrop's alleged involvement in the assassination is a hugely important plot point as it inadvertently leads to the discovery of the false passport obtained by the Jackal and the uncovering of his false identity, and his name was only placed on file because of his rumoured involvement in events which simply did not take place.
28th Apr 2017
Factual error: The idea that anyone survived living in Pripyat Hospital is absurd. The uniforms of the doomed firefighters were stored in the basement and are so radioactive that anyone straying downstairs for more than 45 seconds has about a week to live. The ground and upper floors are far less radioactive but prolonged exposure - in other words, living there - would be fatal. Nobody could survive on the grounds for more than two or three months without receiving a lethal dose of radioactivity. Incidentally, prolonged exposure to radioactivity doesn't turn you into a deranged zombie - it turns you into a corpse.
11th Oct 2016
Factual error: Despite the fact that other officers are doing so, Columbo does not wear gloves while examining the crime scene. He also eats and drinks in the room - both absolutely forbidden - leaving eggshells scattered about the place. The crime scene is now totally compromised and nothing found can be used as evidence.
13th Sep 2016
Trivia: At the very end of the film when Gregory Peck and David Niven are standing on the deck of the warship watching the explosions, you can see a very distinctive injury on Niven's upper lip. During the filming of the sequence where the commandos climb the cliffs he was slammed into the rock face by the water dumped on them to simulate the waves breaking over them. The resulting infection put him in hospital. He complains about the indifference of the film's producers in his book "The Moon's A Balloon."
10th Aug 2016
Stupidity: The Death Star comes equipped with a powerful tractor beam capable of capturing a ship the size and agility of the Millennium Falcon. Why don't they use it against the rebel fighters attacking them at the end of the film? Okay, Obi-Wan Kenobi turned it off earlier but I find it hard to believe that someone who has never before visited the largest, most complex space station in the Universe and who was previously unaware of its very existence can disable a fundamental security system but the people who designed, built and run the damn thing can't work out how to switch it back on.
14th Jun 2016
7th Jun 2016
Factual error: In common with many other episodes, Columbo and all the other police officers at the crime scene hopelessly contaminate it - none of them wear gloves or protective clothing. Not one artifact recovered from the scene would be usable as evidence.
28th Feb 2016
Factual error: During the examination of the crime scene at the beginning of the episode, not one of the Crime Scene Officers or any of the police on site wear latex gloves. The supervising police officer picks up a vital piece of evidence - a small bag of jewellery - with bare hands! They have hopelessly contaminated the scene.
23rd Feb 2016
Factual error: In the opening scene all metallic objects are dragged upwards to the magnets on El Macho's aircraft, including the coins used by the Russian guards in their card game. No country on earth makes coins that are magnetic or capable of being magnetized - it's an important security consideration.
4th Dec 2015
Factual error: Towards the end of the film Watney is told to discard the heavy nose cone of the Martian Ascent Vehicle and replace it with a flimsy plastic sheet because the atmosphere is so thin that it will not be damaged despite the vehicle being accelerated to Martian escape velocity - nearly 14,000 kmh. But the storm caused massive damage earlier. It cannot work both ways - if the atmosphere is so thin that it won't dislodge a jury rigged plastic canopy from an accelerating spacecraft, it cannot possibly whip up a storm like the one we see.
16th Nov 2015
28th Sep 2015
Plot hole: Ian Avery-Cooper loses his lottery ticket which is immediately picked up and appropriated by Leonard Corbyn. However, Avery-Cooper immediately reports the loss to the shopkeeper who sold him the ticket. All lottery sales staff are trained in what to do under these circumstances, because it happens a lot - they cancel the lost ticket and issue a new one. Since Avery-Cooper used the same numbers every week this would not pose a problem, but even if he didn't the ticket would be recorded on the seller's computers and could be precisely reconstructed. This would be even easier since Avery-Cooper reports the loss within a minute of it happening and we see that he has the receipt for the sale in his hand. Corbyn's stolen ticket would be worthless and Avery-Cooper would be able to claim his rightful winnings.
26th Jul 2015
Factual error: Twice in the film it is made clear that the Pym particle works by reducing the space between atoms in order to shrink an object, and by increasing it to enlarge them. This means that the object will weigh the same, whether shrunk or enlarged - it cannot be otherwise. A 90kg man the size of an ant would punch a hole through any surface upon which he stood (and couldn't ride ants), Doctor Pym has been walking about with a 60 tonne tank in his pocket, Darren Cross lifts a full grown sheep between finger and thumb, and the supersized Thomas The Tank Engine would be far too light to crush the police car (in fact it would float harmlessly away as it would probably weigh less than the air it displaced).
20th Jul 2015
15th Jul 2015
Plot hole: Ted calls on John to tell him that he saw Lori leaving her apartment with her boss. How did he find him? He turns up not only at the right hotel but the right room! They have had no contact since their fight after the party and Ted hasn't been asking around after John as he tells him he 'just saw' Lori leaving with her boss. So how did he find John? Is he psychic?
26th May 2015
Factual error: The pirates' map shows a drawing of Tower Bridge, which Pirate Captain sees through the telescope moments later. Construction of Tower Bridge started in 1886, and it was completed in 1894. Queen Victoria was 73 when Tower Bridge was completed, whereas she is in her late twenties or mid thirties here. The sign setting the film in 1837 also makes no sense given this timeline.
25th May 2015
Revealing mistake: Watch the opening sequence of this episode very carefully - Clarkson, May and Hammond are not in Downing Street (they are on a set that stands on the BBC backlot) and library footage of the Prime Minister is cleverly edited in to make it look as if they were there at the same time. Even taking into account the fact that the Prime Minister's security service would never allow such an intrusion onto Downing Street, the line up of the shots does not quite match - our three intrepid heroes should be visible in shot when the Prime Minister is shown exiting number 10, but they are nowhere to be seen. It is all sleight of hand and clever editing, but detectable if you watch carefully enough.